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Hi everyone,

My hooded rat died this morning in my arms at 2 years old, I think he had a stroke and starts having seizures this morning before he passed.

His albino brother Marley hasn't acted strange yet but it's killing me knowing he's going to be alone and wonder where Arnold is. Everyone I've spoken to has advised getting another 2 rat babies and slowly introducing them. At first I couldn't even think of getting other rats but now I've realised that I love having rats around and can't bare the thought of none :'( I miss my boy so much right now.

I just want to know what the advisable length of time is to get new babies and try introducing them. I don't get paid until next Friday so is just under a week too short? Should I give him any longer? He's still eating although Arnold has only been gone a matter of hours.

Any help and words would be much appreciated as the hole in my heart is huge and I'm falling to pieces here. I'm finding it hard to come to terms with losing one of the best Christmas presents I've ever gotten.

RIP Arnold. I love you to the moon and back and I will see you at the rainbow bridge with all my other babies I've lost.

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Generally the sooner the better. I would get a pair of babies as soon as you can and use the carrier method to get them together that same day. Rats don't need to grieve like us humans do.
 

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HUGS!! I'm so sorry to hear of your loss.

Until you get your paycheck, do give your surviving rat extra treats and cuddles and watch for signs of depression. If he doesn't seem to be taking it that hard, he may be able to handle living alone for a while until you get paid. When I had to separate one of my rats from the others due a case of mistaken gender, she was fine and kept eating, even though I will be finding a friend for her soon. However, this weekend, one of my boys died suddenly, and his cagemate did not take it well at all. It probably depends on the rat.

We actually ended up getting a pair of slightly younger rats today for my surviving boy (none are fully grown). After frantically searching for his cagemate who had just died, he began to act depressed and listless, and we were getting scared he might slip further into depression and stop eating if he remained alone. I hope this wasn't too soon and was the right decision, but if anything, the new young'uns should give him something to keep his mind occupied, and he's acting more like his old hyperactive self.

My fiance has also introduced several rats to each other in the past and in his experience, after being introduced in neutral territory, they usually get along fine. We're not experts on this, though.
 
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